At Village Home Stores we don’t just like old homes… we LOVE them. Anytime we are invited to bid a project like this, we are so thankful that our customers have a level of trust with us to respect an old home with the products and work we do in them. It should also be mentioned that our staff carpenters love an old home project so much. Old homes have lots of character and unique challenges for our designers and our subcontractors. In Geneseo, Illinois where our store is located, we are surrounded by some incredible properties each rich with history and great details. This home we just finished up at is no exception.
Restoration vs. Remodel: What’s the Difference Anyway?
So just what is the difference between a “renovation” and a “remodel” in a home? You can use either term with us and we will know what you are wanting. Many times in our industry the terms are used interchangeably by designers, contractors, and real estate professionals. To “restore” something means to bring something back to an original state it had been. You can “revive” a space or a detail in a home back to its original glory… but most of the time, things change for a reason right? Kitchens especially have changed over the centuries. As much as we think we would want a historically accurate kitchen for a property… wouldn’t a dishwasher and a refrigerator be nice?
So many times our restorations are by definition a remodel after all because we help to make changes to the layout and materials. We want to make deliberate and needed improvements to the space but with respect to the property. In the end, the kitchen design for an old home like this should look right at place in the home but give the users the performance they need from it. We love details like the built-in cabinet area to the left of the kitchen sink (shown in previous image). Not only does it add storage but the wood door and brass hardware are so great with the overall design.
Two Ceiling Heights and Varied Wall Depths
Kitchens in old homes tend to have a LOT of openings to work around like doors and windows. They also usually include a list of other unique challenges. In this home we had two ceiling heights, a chimney stack, a jog forward in depth on the sink wall, and a radiator to work with. The range and hood area of the new design is where the change in height and depth takes place. Revisit the image above. You will see to the right of the Kitchen Aid range the wall cabinets drop down in height to align with the soffit area and the base cabinetry angles out with a paneled filler to soften the transition and keep a healthy depth for storage inside.
Subway tile is installed all the way to the ceiling in this kitchen design and we think the look is classic behind the range hood and surrounding the kitchen window. The tile is named “Starry White” in a Matte finish from our Jeffery Court line. Opps! We got so carried away talking about this kitchen we forgot to give you the cabinet details! The cabinetry is from our Koch Classic line in the “Bristol” door in the gray “Fog” painted finish. This color adds a traditional and classic look without just using an expected white or off-white paint. Ask about the variety of neutral paint color options we can order your cabinetry in.
A Kitchen Pass-Through and Island Upgrade
On the wall opposite the range and kitchen sink is a pass-through window to the living room with that radiator we mentioned earlier. The radiator makes it tricky to install base cabinets against the wall, but our expert designer at Village had a great design in mind. Check out the custom table we built to project off the wall into the kitchen as a peninsula. Our carpenters were even able to frame in the opening recreating the same trim details of the existing door and window frames. The areas to the left and right of the opening each got a storage upgrade. Check out this before and after image:
We arranged to install a thin brick on the existing chimney, and it added an instant old world feel to the space. The wall to the left used to just have a coatrack on it. Now it is home to a designated coffee station with a drawer base and a microwave shelf cabinet above. Talk about an upgraded use of space. We stacked the crown molding in this kitchen design. Stacked moldings allow you some freedom to correct any ceiling height changes without leaving gaps. If you revisit the range hood images above you will notice we stacked the same crown to the left of the hood on a flat riser piece, and the shorter cabinets to the right just include the crown molding without a riser.
It’s a Kitchen Table. It’s a Kitchen Island. It’s a Combination Kitchen Table Kitchen Island.
Open below to leave space for the (sandblasted and painted) radiator, this table can seat 4 AND acts as a work surface island for the kitchen. When I went to snap these final photos I hadn’t been in the kitchen since the contractor meeting with our project management team. I could not believe how much larger this kitchen feels when you walk into it now just by relocating the “island” and making it this versatile space. We added cabinetry to this wall and it still feels so much bigger in the kitchen.
The table “aprons”, wood legs, and drawer are all from our Koch line assembled by our carpenters. This is a Red Oak wood in the “Frontier” stain. To see a full album of images from this project including many detailed shots of this table/island we designed, visit the project here on our Houzz page. The top is a matching quartz to the kitchen. This is our best-selling “Calacatta Laza” quartz from MSI in a standard “Eased” edge profile.
Tall Shallow Pantry Storage
To the left of the table/island is a wide new section of shallow pantry storage. As you will see in some of our other upcoming project features, do not dismiss storage in a space just because it is narrow. You can fit a lot into these tall shallow pantry cabinets. Plus, these have soft-close door hinges so they never slam shut.
While we are showing you a peek behind the pantry doors, we thought we would also give you a little MTV Cribs moment with the fridge. Anyone else remember that part of the show where you saw either a fully stocked fridge or a sad single carryout container and a bottle of champagne? Well, this Kitchen Aid fridge can and does fit a lot into it. To take a closer look at the storage inside check out our viral TikTok to see the “pockets” it has. Shop our local low prices on appliances online, anytime with us here on our website.
The interior of the fridge has a Platinum finish to help you see and find items better and the LED lighting inside is amazing. Speaking of lighting, we also sold the lighting in this new kitchen. A “Virtue” ceiling fan with seeded glass light is from our Quorum line and the jar-shaped “Lansing” pendant by Uttermost hangs above the kitchen sink. Shop our wide selection of lighting online anytime here on our website.
There are so many incredible properties in and around the Quad Cities area and we are proud to have our work represented in many of those historic neighborhoods. If you have a home that needs a well thought out new kitchen design, quality materials, and expert crews to do the work we are your people! This project was managed from start to finish by Village Home Stores and took place during the COVID-19 timeframe that involved us adding steps and precautions to protect our team and customers. Ready to start your own story with us? Just reach out. This Spring you can head to our Virtual Home Show booth here and learn more about our process and request an appointment. We can’t wait to hear about your own unique property and the project you have.